Remembering 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane as Florence approaches Charleston

1944 Hurricane tracking map by wikipedia
Map plotting the track and intensity of the 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane, according to Saffir-Simpson scale

This is my husband’s recollection of the 1944 hurricane that hit Long Island.

I was 17 at that time and just enlisted with the U.S. Navy in New York. Having enough time left for the day, (it was only 2:30 pm) I decided to see my friend, Harry Knapp who had an apartment on the East Side in the city. I thought I’d catch the 6 PM train to East Islip which I did. However, the hurricane of ’44 was already on its powerful trek going up north. As the train chugged along, the passengers were wondering why the train was going too slow. We were told we were going through a hurricane. The train did not make it to Babylon till midnight. Usually it only took an hour.

At Babylon, I got on a taxi but when I told the driver to take me to East Islip, he said no way he was leaving Babylon. The road was too hazardous. So I waited for another train. At 1 am, a train came in doing shuttle from Babylon to Patchogue. I hopped on the train and made my way to East Islip. I got to East Islip from Babylon at 2 am. When I got off the train, the place was pitch black, I could not see my hand in front of my face. That’s how dark it was. There was no car or taxi to take me home which was about a mile and a half from the train station. Having no alternative, I decided to walk. Luckily I knew the way by heart.

The train station in East Islip was north of Montauk Highway. So I crossed the highway to Suffolk Lane. Half way on Suffolk Lane, I felt something grabbed my arm which scared me to death. I then found out it was a broken limb just hit my arm. I proceeded down the road. A few feet away, I hit another tree branches. I found my way around it and jumped over it and kept on walking. It happened three times. I stayed in the middle of the road. I felt I was safe in the middle of the road instead of the sidewalk.

I finally reached home on Meadow Farm Rd. The door was unlocked so I walked in. My parents never locked the front door. My father said it kept their friends away. I went up to my room which I shared with my brother. I was surprised to find him home. Bobby was apparently on leave from the U.S. Army. He told me to go see Mom. He said Mom thought I might be already on my way to Tokyo Bay.

I went to my parent’s bedroom and knocked on their door.

I said, “Mom, I’m home.”

Mom asked, “Are you OK?”

I said, “Yes.”

She said, “Go to bed.”

Few weeks later, I was called to report for active duty.

The 1944 Great Atlantic hurricane was a destructive and powerful tropical cyclone that impacted the entire United States Atlantic seaboard in September 1944. Impacts were most significant in New England, though significant effects were also felt along the Outer Banks, Mid-Atlantic states and the Canadian Maritimes. Due to its ferocity and path, the storm drew comparisons to the 1938 Long Island Express, known as one of the worst storms in New England history.

The origins of the 1944 hurricane was first identified well east of the Lesser Antilles on September 4. Over the next few days, the disturbance slowly traversed west-northwestward without producing any significant weather. On Sept. 8, the barometric depression became more well-defined, prompting the Weather Bureau in San Juan, Puerto Rico to issue advisories on the tropical disturbance. As a result of the sparseness of available surface observations east of the Lesser Antilles, a reconnaissance flight was dispatched to investigate the storm late on September 9. The flight reported that the disturbance had fully developed into a fully-fledged hurricane northeast of Puerto Rico.
As the storm moved west-northwest, it steadily intensified and reached peak intensity as a Category 4-equivalent hurricane on September 13 north of the Bahamas after curving northward and was named “Great Atlantic Hurricane” by the Weather Bureau in Miami, Florida to better convey the life-threatening risks associated with the powerful hurricane. After taking a northward turn on September 14, the center of the storm passed just east of Cape Hatteras, NC around 9:00AM. The hurricane then turned slightly to the northeast and accelerated to a forward speed of about 40 mph.

At 10:00 PM on 14 September, the hurricane passed over eastern Long Island, NY as a Category 3 hurricane. On September 15, the hurricane made landfall near Southampton in eastern Long Island with winds of 105 mph. The storm then crossed the island and Long Island Sound before making a second landfall two hours later near Point Judith, Rhode Island as a slightly weaker storm with winds of 100 mph. After crossing Rhode Island, it moved northeastward, passing just southeast of Boston, MA and out to sea. After weakening into a tropical storm, the system skimmed coastal Maine and moved into New Brunswick, Canada. Late on September 15, the system became extratropical, and shortly after, merged with a larger system southeast of Greenland on September 16.

As the storm moved northward along the eastern Atlantic seaboard, from North Carolina up to Newfoundland, it caused widespread damage. The hurricane cost over $100 million (1944 USD, $1.2 Billion 2010 USD) in damage and killed 390 people. Mainland evacuations and careful warnings, however, allowed the death toll on land to be fairly low: 46 persons.

The storm wreaked havoc on World War II shipping lines. The storm was also responsible for sinking the Navy destroyer USS Warrington approximately 450 miles east of Vero Beach, Florida, with a loss of 248 sailors. The hurricane was one of the most powerful to traverse the Eastern Seaboard, reaching Category 4 when it encountered Warrington, and producing hurricane force winds over a diameter of 600 miles. The hurricane also produced waves in excess of 70 feet in height. In addition to Warrington, the Coast Guard cutters CGC Bedloe (WSC-128) and CGC Jackson (WSC-142) both capsized and sank off Cape Hatteras (48 lives lost). The hurricane also claimed the 136-foot minesweeper USS YMS-409 which sank with all 33 on board lost. Further north, it also claimed the lightship Vineyard Sound (LV-73), which was sunk with the loss of all 12 aboard. It also drove SS Thomas Tracy aground in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

At the Carolina coast, the hurricane’s storm surge pushed 50 ft inland along unprotected coastline, destroying hundreds of boats, damaging boardwalks, and depositing debris along the Carolina beaches. Coastal farmland was inundated, with damage to corn and other crops initially estimated at “thousands of dollars.”

The hurricane was infamous for the amount of damage it caused along the New Jersey coastline. Long Beach Island and Barnegat Island both lost their causeways to the mainland in the storm effectively cutting them off from the rest of New Jersey. Additionally both islands lost hundreds of homes, where many homes in the town were swept out to sea. In Atlantic City, the hurricane’s storm surge forced water into the lobbies of many of the resorts famous hotels. The Atlantic City boardwalk suffered major damage.

During the storm, New York City saw sustained hurricane force winds of 81 mph with gusts up to 99 mph. Damages consisted of power outages, some lasting 10 days, and downed trees throughout the city. In nearby Long Island, damages totaled $1 million (1944 USD) on the eastern half of the island alone. The beach eroded up to 20 ft. in some places, causing houses to be taken by the sea. Tobacco and fruit damage in Connecticut totaled to about $2 million (1944 USD) with similar overall damage costs occurring in Rhode Island. More than $5 million (1944 USD) in damage which occurred on Cape Cod can be attributed to lost boats, as well as fallen trees and utility damage.

The Great Atlantic hurricane affected New England just six years after the region was ravaged by the infamous 1938 New England hurricane. While both storms greatly impacted New England, the 1944 hurricane was of weaker intensity at landfall, and hit the coast from a direction that produced a very low storm surge. Overall the Great Atlantic hurricane was estimated to have done one-third the damage of the 1938 hurricane.

Hopefully, Florence which is now Category 4 will spare Charleston. In the meantime, we are busy preparing for the worst and hope for the best. We’ll be boarding the first and second floor windows tomorrow. We are not boarding the third floor windows since they are much too high for flying debris.

If you are in the path of Florence, stay safe.

 

Sources:
Great Atlantic Hurricane, September 1944
http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/tropical/rain/greatatlantic1944.html
NHC Hurricane Preparedness Website
Hurricane History- Great Atlantic Hurricane 1944
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/history.shtml#great
“1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane.” Wikipedia.

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When is the rain going to stop?

 

It’s been raining on and off everyday for too long. The ground is so soaked already. My roses are drowning.

This is the view in front of my townhouse everyday.

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This is what you can see through the window in back.

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Remember the nursery rhyme:

Rain. Rain. Go Away.

Come again another day.

Little children want to play.

 

I would like St. Swithun to send the rain to California. They need it there. We have enough rain here already.

Have you heard about St. Swithun? Who is he? What’s he got to do with rain?

St. Swithun is regarded as one of the saints to whom one should pray in the event of drought.

st swithun
St. Swithun – Photo Credit: Christianity.com

I remember years ago while I was in New York and it rained on July 15 and it kept on raining everyday till late August. We were having an Ice Cream Social at the end of August and I mentioned it to one of our guests who lived across the street. She must be well-read because she recited the poem right away. Not many people know about St. Swithun. She knew the legend about St. Swithun and the 40 days of rain. It says if it rains on St. Swithun’s day which is July 15, it will rain for 40 days.

We might be heading that way. I cannot remember the weather on July 15. Maybe it was raining. It has been raining everyday for quite sometime now. Where I live in Johns Island, it is like England’s weather. The sun will come up and then dark clouds move in all day long. The rain is so localized. It could be raining in front of my house but not in the back. It could be pouring on the lake but dry on the street. Weird.

Here is the English weather lore proverb about St. Swithun:

St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain

For forty days it will remain

St Swithun’s day if thou be fair

For forty days ’twill rain nae mare

 

A Buckinghamshire variation has

If on St Swithun’s day it really pours

You’re better off to stay indoors.

 

St. Swithun was an Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Winchester from his consecration in Oct. 853 until his death on July 2, 862 and subsequently patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. On his deathbed St. Swithun begged that he should be buried outside the north wall of his cathedral where passers-by should pass over his grave and raindrops from the eaves drop upon it. However, it was decided later to move his body to a new indoor shrine, and one theory traces the origin of the legend to a heavy shower by which, on the day of the move, the saint marked his displeasure towards those who were removing his remains.

According to Durham chroniclers, the legend was derived from the tremendous downpour of rain that occurred on St. Swithun’s Day, July 15, 1315.

 St. Swithun Roses

This is a rose hybridized by David Austin named in honor of St. Swithun.

Photo credit – David Austin Roses

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

 

Update on the missing Heidi Todd

 

 

WL Prayer Vigil
Whitney Lake Community Prayer Vigil for Missing Heidi Todd. I’m in front with the light jacket next to the little girl.

 

 

The Whitney Lake Community came together for a Prayer Vigil tonight at 7 PM in front of our Community Dock. At the end of the prayer service, it was announced that Mayor Tecklenburg of Charleston would have a news conference at 8 PM.

 

Here is the link to Mayor Tecklenburg’s news conference:

 

http://www.live5news.com/clip/14127785/video-mayor-john-tecklenburg-announces-missing-toddler-found-safe-in-alabama

 

Mayor Tecklenburg announced that Heidi Todd was found and was in the safe hands of the FBI in Riverside, Alabama but the abductor, Thomas Lawton Evans, was still at large.

 

Later tonight the news announced that the abductor was arrested in Mississippi.

For more info, here are a couple of links:

http://wjla.com/news/nation-world/heidi-todd-found-alive-outside-birmingham-alabama

http://www.live5news.com/story/37499610/found-safe-authorities-recover-johns-island-toddler-in-alabama

 

Thank you for all the wonderful job of the Charleston Police Dept, Charleston Fire Dept, The FBI, the first responders, EMT and the office of Charleston Mayor and their counterpart in Alabama and Mississippi. To the WL community, thank you for your prayers and outstanding community spirit in this difficult time. We show the world that we are a unique community and always looking after each other. To Heidi and the Todd family, we’re happy Heidi will soon be back home. Continue to pray for Mrs. Todd.

 

Thank you.

 

Rosalinda Morgan

Board Member, Whitney Lake HOA

 

 

Snow in Charleston, SC. Really?

 Yes, it does snow in Charleston. Not Charleston, West Viriginia but Charleston, South Carolina. Not often but it does. Today is one of those days. The last big one was in 1989, the same year they had Hurricane Hugo. It happened on Dec.22 and they got 8 inches of snow. Charleston had a white Christmas at that time. I was not here then. I was still in NY where it always snows in winter.

Right before Christmas, I was talking to somebody and I said I miss New York during Christmas season. I then added “I wish we have snow”. Be careful what you wish for!

They forecasted 4” or more. Early on, I heard the forecast was 6-8 inches. I could not believe it. I remembered we had a little dusting of snow one year and it melted within the hour. Today is different. This snow is a big event. We had freezing rain when I woke up this morning. Luckily, I still have my two ice scrapers but no snow shovel. When we left NY, my husband told me to throw my ice scrapers. He said we won’t need it in Charleston. I’m glad I kept them. I gave the long handled one with the brush and ice scraper to my son when he went to work this morning but he came back an hour later because his workplace was closed.

Just before noon, the snow started coming down and it came down hard and sideways. It looked like a blizzard. The roads are icy. Most of them are closed. There were two bridges going to Johns Island and the first one closed before 9 am and the second one just before 10 am. Now, no one can’t get in or out of Johns Island unless they walk on the bridge. I doubt if the police will allow that. So we are stuck for a few days. I have enough food in the house. I ordered some Omaha Steaks and lobster tails before Christmas but did not arrive till two days after Christmas. So I have that provision. My son made a big pot of soup the other day and we still have plenty of that. If the lights go out, we can always grill outside. I have a charcoal grill, not electric so we are fine.

Here are some photos in front of my townhouse and in back:

 Early on. 

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An hour later, my son with his dog in front of the house.

Skipper has not seen snow before. He moved from CA with my son three years ago. He’s most likely wondering what it is. IMG_2786

 

Going for a walk. IMG_2787

 

Cool photo . . . IMG_2788

 

From my balcony two hours later looking towards Whitney Lake.IMG_2793

 

Our townhouse is a corner unit. Looking towards the street across. IMG_2794

 

My terrace with the Christmas lights and my parol (Philippine star).IMG_2797

 

 

Icicles from the terrace’s pergola.IMG_2798

 

Sitting by my computer, I saw this view in back, four hours later.IMG_2801

 

 

In the back alley, Matt’s car on the foreground, my car across the street, the gray Volvo wagon. The garbage collector did not come today so all the garbage cans are all lined up for collection. I wonder when they are coming now that they have to deal with the snow.

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It’s 5:30 pm and it is still snowing.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

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Charleston Kidney Walk for National Kidney Foundation

team-kidney

Help us battle kidney disease. Many Americans know nothing about kidney disease until it is too late.

My husband was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) just over a year ago, Feb. 1, 2016 to be exact. He was not feeling good since July the year before but his doctor could not find anything wrong with him so I insisted on taking him to emergency because he said he was dying. Within the hour after he was wheeled to emergency room, the attending physician said he was going to ICU because he had kidney failure. His kidney completely stopped. If I did not take him to emergency, he could be dead in two weeks. Shock, disbelief and anger were my reactions. Five days in ICU, five days in private room and then my ordeal began at home.

He is now on peritoneal dialysis everyday at home and will be everyday for the rest of his life and on a very strict diet which I watch like a hawk. Our life has changed drastically since that day. Because of his advanced age, (he just turned 90 on Jan. 5), we don’t go out anymore. Our social life is going to see his doctors. I am his caregiver and it is a full-time job because he also has arthritis on his feet and is in constant pain. He feels weak and gets tired easily. He cannot do much and needs help constantly. It’s very discouraging but I try to stay positive.

On Sunday, March 12, there is a Charleston Kidney Walk at James Island County Park, SC sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation. I cannot join the walk because I can’t leave him alone and he can barely walk. I just thought of an idea to help out. I have written a book, “The Wentworth Legacy” last year which my husband edited and is dedicated to him. It received great review from Kirkus Review. I would like to donate all my royalty on the book sale starting today, right now till March 12 at 11.59 pm to the National Kidney Foundation. You can buy my book at Amazon.com. Here is the link to “The Wentworth Legacy” on Amazon – www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan. Please help me on this fundraising event and help National Kidney Foundation on its mission.

I appreciate your support.

The Facts About Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) as stated in National Kidney Foundation website.

  • 26 million American adults have CKD and millions of others are at increased risk.
  • Early detection can help prevent the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure.
  • Heart disease is the major cause of death for all people with CKD.
  • Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the best estimate of kidney function.
  • Hypertension causes CKD and CKD causes hypertension.
  • Persistent proteinuria (protein in the urine) means CKD is present.
  • High risk groups include those with diabetes, hypertension and family history of kidney failure.
  • African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Seniors are at increased risk.
  • Two simple tests can detect CKD: blood pressure, urine albumin and serum creatinine.

Thank you very much.

Until next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda Morgan

www.rosalindarmorgan.com

My 9th report for my 12-week challenge

Here is my ninth report for my twelve weeks challenge:

 

  1. My book to read goal is still on target. I finish one book this week. I have to finish reading 3 more books in 3 weeks to make my reading goal for my 12-week challenge.
  2. I did not make my marketing goals this week. With Hurricane Matthew on the way to Charleston, I was busy preparing the house for the hurricane. That was the most important thing this week. With all the flooding in the Charleston area, we were very lucky we did not get flood in our area. We lost power for 29 ½ hours so it was not so bad. Water was on all this time.

 

I reached up to some friends from the groups that I belong to and asked to share my posts. I received two great feedbacks from people who bought my books. They love the book! The Giveaways post on Goodreads have 316 total so far. “To Read List” has 121 entries.

 

  • 2 posts on Social Media.
  • 40 Press Releases
  • 1 Giveaways post on Goodreads

 

  1. I’m still trying to catch up on my word count challenge. I’m only at 39,041 words. I only have three weeks to catch up. I better get going fast.

 

If you missed the Kindle Countdown Deal on Amazon.com, you have another chance. My next book promotion is going to be at www.amazon.co.uk beginning on Oct. 14, 2016 at 8:00 am GMT to Oct. 17 at 8:00 am GMT. The price will go down to £0.99 for 3 days only.  Check it out.

 

 

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

 

Rosalinda Morgan, The Rose Lady

 

Author of “The Wentworth Legacy”

 

www.rosalindarmorgan.com